We’re calling this our “Textures of Artichoke” plate, a very modernist sort of name, no? But it goes along with past “textures” plates of tomatoes, beets, mushrooms, and corn. This could almost count for one of our lexographic vegetable cookery posts, given that it approaches the vegetable in four different ways – “A” is for alcachofa, alcaucíl and/or artichoke. You could use any of these components on their own in other dishes.


Crust: 95 gm pastry flour, 110 gm butter, 2 garlic cloves, 1 small shallot, pinch of salt, egg yolk, all pulsed together to create a wet sand texture that will just hold together when rolled out into small rounds (10) and placed inside buttered ring molds. Par-baked at 180C for about 10 minutes before filling is added.

Filling: Steam two fresh artichoke hearts and stems (the leaves cut away, the choke removed, the stem peeled), actually, steam a couple more, you’re going to need them below for the sauce, and trim more for the escabeche. When soft, blend with 300 gm ricotta, 200 gm sheep’s milk pecorino, 180 ml scalded whole milk, 50 gm melted butter, 2 Tb flour, 1 tsp salt, 3 eggs. Or whatever cheesecake recipe you want to use that will work for a savory cheesecake. Pour roughly 80 ml of the mixture into each now hot ring mold and return to the oven, turn down to 140C and bake until just set, about 15 minutes. These can be cooled, wrapped, and then rewarmed later to serve.


You need half a prepped artichoke per person, simply sauteed in olive oil with a couple of crushed garlic cloves and bay leaves, salt and pepper, until golden brown on all sides and soft. During the last minute or so of cooking splash in some sherry vinegar (or balsamic) and toss well to lightly glaze.


Spicy artichoke sauce: 2 steamed artichoke hearts and stems as above, blended with 120 ml of good olive oil, juice of half a lemon, 1/2 tsp each of salt and white pepper, a few sprigs of parsley, and a hot green chili or two – you don’t want this super spicy, so it simply depends what sort of chilies you’re using, I typically add 1 green aji limo and then taste, and add another if needed, plus adjusting the salt if necessary.

Lemon puree: slice a peeled green apple into a small pot, add the juice and peel (cut off most of the white pith) of a lemon, cover and cook over low heat for about 10 minutes until the peel and apples are soft. Puree with a 1/2 tsp of salt.

Artichoke syrup: If you’re not familiar with it, there’s a liqueur out there, a digestif, called Cynar, that’s made from artichokes. I simply reduced the liqueur by about 3/4 (1 cup down to a 1/4 cup), so it became a thick syrup.

Chili oil: Neutral oil with merquen chili flakes in it. Merquen is a smoked, dried chili from Chile that I’m quite fond of. It’s not an overly spicy chili, so it makes a nice accompaniment to this dish – substitute any other mild to medium hot smoked chili flake or ground chili (ancho would be a more readily available substitute for most people I’d guess).

I just kind of placed the cheesecake on the plate, squiggled the four sauces around it, added the artichoke escabeche half, and that was it. All the flavors work, and people seemed to love it!




Bite Marks #18

2015.Jun.21 Sunday
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Because I’ve been focused on my ramen quest, there have been fewer other sorts of restaurants that I’ve turned my attention to, but I’m not slacking off. At first, before my ramen binge started, I thought I might do another round of seafood parrilladas… …and Henry, myself, and a friend toddled off to La Bandurria, […]

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In the Japanese Zone

2015.Jun.20 Saturday
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While continuing my ramen quest, I decided that checking out the concentrated Japanese areas of town might be a good approach. There’s no defined “Japantown”, like there is for the Chinese and Korean communities, but there are basically two areas, one in Once, and one in Belgrano, where there are small enclaves of more traditional […]

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The Chicken Crab Conundrum

2015.Jun.18 Thursday
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It’s been awhile since we had a Reinventing the Whisk challenge – almost three months in fact. We’ve all been a bit busy, with our attentions turned to other things. Perhaps that’s part of what led to what faced off to be a challenge of a blank white canvas – I picked white button mushrooms, […]

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“N” is for Nabo (Japonés)

2015.Jun.13 Saturday
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We all know the daikon, or, as it’s generally called here, nabo japonés (japanese turnip), from the shredded stuff that comes with our sushi. Most of the time we just ignore it and it goes back to the sushi bar or kitchen, hopefully being discarded and not rinsed and reused. I’m just sayin’. On and […]

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Plate by Plate: Amazonia in the Soup Bowl

2015.Jun.12 Friday
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Although I’ve given this soup a bit of a write-up in the past, I’ve never really laid it out step-by-step. It’s one of our favorites, and it’s actually quite simple to make, and you can vary it quite easily. It’s our version of Timbuche, a traditional soup of the Peruvian Amazon basin. Variously, it’s described […]

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2015.Jun.10 Wednesday
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I’ve recently been on a bit of a ramen binge. The Japanese community here in BA isn’t a huge one, and so far, the obsession with ramen that has swept across the northern hemisphere hasn’t really popped up here. I imagine it’s partially related to the general Argentine disdain for soup, and for al dente […]

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Plate by Plate: Lemme Smoke a Clam

2015.Jun.09 Tuesday
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A private party this last week for a friend of mine celebrating his 80th birthday. Some spectacular wines from Spain that he provided for his guests. And a request that we, more or less, suspend our usual style of cooking and go more with inspirations from classic Spanish dishes. It was kind of fun to […]

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Another Hamburguesa Round-Up

2015.Jun.06 Saturday
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There will no doubt be more and more potential hotspots for really good hamburgers opening up in BA, so I have no doubt there will be further round-ups and the list will just keep getting longer! In response to my last round-up, someone from Dellepiane Bar, Pasaje Luis Dellepiane 685 in San Nicolas, not a […]

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